If you are having houseguests for Thanksgiving weekend, then chances are you are most likely going to have to feed them something besides leftover turkey, especially for breakfast. No matter what anyone says, they really will eventually want to eat again after the big feast.
So if you are having houseguests for Thanksgiving, or any time really, here is a strategy I like to employ: make something ahead that is easy and impressive so my guests are cared for and well fed and I don’t stress myself out, especially in the morning when I am, ahem, not at my best.
I have always loved the idea of breakfast casseroles. They take a few minutes to prepare, spend time in the fridge and the oven and then voilà, breakfast or brunch for a crowd. It really helps keep me in the hospitable mood to be able to feed my guests without knocking myself out in the kitchen every minute of the day and night.
A strata is a layered casserole that typically consists of bread and some sort of egg mixture. I had long ago taken stratas off my entertaining list as I could never find the perfect gluten-free bread to make one. That is until I found Kinnikinnick’s gluten-free English muffins (which I happen to love more than I ever loved regular, gluten-filled English muffins).
Toasted and combined with Canadian bacon, soaked overnight in a simple mixture of eggs and milk, then topped with a quick, blender hollandaise, this strata has all the flavor of Eggs Benedict without all that pesky last-minute work. Your guests will feel special and cared for and you will retain your sanity, which will make you more inclined to having houseguests in the future.
Gluten-Free Eggs Benedict Strata
Four Kinnikinnick gluten-free English muffins, thawed, split and toasted
8 ounces Canadian bacon
Ten large eggs, use divided
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder, use divided
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher or fine sea salt, use divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
2-1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
One or two dashes hot sauce (like Tabasco)
1/2 cup butter, melted
The day before you plan to serve this, spray a 9-inch by 12-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Cut the toasted English muffins into 1-inch chunks. Cut the Canadian bacon into 1-inch pieces. Layer half the Canadian bacon in the bottom of the prepared dish. Top with the English muffin chunks then with the remaining Canadian bacon pieces.
Separate four of the eggs and put the yolks in an airtight container and refrigerate until it is time to make the Hollandaise sauce. Put the egg whites in a large mixing bowl with the remaining whole eggs, 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, paprika, and milk. Whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture over the muffin chunks and Canadian bacon. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (eight to twelve hours).
One hour and ten minutes before planning to serve, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and remove the strata from the fridge. Remove the plastic wrap and cover with foil. Bake for forty minutes, remove the foil, and continue to bake for twenty minutes or until the top is nicely browned and the strata is set. Let cool five minutes before serving.
While the strata is cooling make the hollandaise sauce. Put the saved egg yolks in the blender along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Blend for five seconds. Remove the small plastic top from the blender lid and with the blender running, drizzle in the melted butter slowly. Continue blending until all the butter has been incorporated. The sauce can be kept warm if needed by placing in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. It takes so little time and effort to make the hollandaise I usually just whip it up while the strata is cooling. Put the sauce in a small serving bowl and serve with the strata.
Makes ten to twelve servings.